Mulder tests technology to prevent truck-train collisions

Innovative warning system to prevent collisions between trains and vehicles tested in Victoria

April 5, 2011

An innovative level crossing warning system to prevent collisions between trains and vehicles was tested in Victoria over the weekend.

The radio break-in collision warning system, which notifies drivers of approaching trains at level crossings, is the first of its kind in Australia.

The test involved the use of a 26-metre, 60-tonne B-double truck and a locomotive at two level crossings at Yendon.

"The radio break-in system broadcasts messages to local vehicles to warn them of hazards, such as approaching trains at railway level crossings," Victorian Transport Minister Terry Mulder says.

"In Victoria between 2011 and 2009 there were 120 people killed and 172 injured in vehicle crashes involving collisions with trains. Level crossing crashes result in enormous human and financial cost."

The technology works by fitting a radio transmitter to a vehicle or train, or to roadside infrastructure such as a railway level crossing, which broadcasts a local signal.

Small receiver units are fitted to vehicles and a warning message is played over the vehicles’ sound system. The technology also enables a warning message to be delivered to a driver even if a vehicles’ sound system is switched off.

Mulder says the system can also be used to warn of approaching emergency vehicles.

"The purpose of this trial is to develop and demonstrate an innovative railway level crossing safety system with the potential to be deployed in Victoria," he says.

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